Monday, December 6, 2010

Tula was the capital of a large and extensive empire. Toplitzin, its founder, was a priest of Quetzalcoatl. There are a number of buildings that date from Tula's high point: the Templo de los Atlantes, or the "House of the Lord of the Morning Star," which consists of a five-level temple with beautiful sculptures. At the upper section of Quetzalcoatl's building was a covered temple whose columns have survived and were similar to the famous atlantes or caryatids. Representations of the god Tlahuizcalpantecutli, these columns are nearly sixteen feet high and are adorned as celestial warriors. Their arms hang down straight at their sides, holding their weapons, including dart throwers and arrows. They are ornamented with breastplates in the form of stylized butterflies, as if they were messengers of the sun with crowns; on their backs are solar discs.

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